Cognitive Confidence!

Towards the end of January, some of our students had the exciting opportunity to attend one of Henley Careers’ regular ‘Success Studio’ events. Success Studios are developmental events tailored to developing skills that you will need in your future employment. 

This time our Success Studio welcomed Dr. Brennan Jacoby from ‘Philosophy at Work’. Brennan grew up in the US and decided to start his own business that focusses on building confidence and overcoming common barriers business face in a commercial setting.

Brennan’s session focused on our cognitive confidence and decision making. Every day we make decisions, whether that be deciding on what outfit to wear or whether to walk or catch the bus! However, have you ever evaluated these seemly irrelevant decisions? That leads us into the first task. Students looked back on their days and evaluated their decisions – ranking them from good to bad. It was an exciting activity as it really highlighted how we could often become almost autonomous in our daily lives and taking that step back; reflecting and evaluating: helped students and staff alike. 

Brennan then went on to take us on a whistle-stop tour of philosophy and how he uses philosophy to build people’s confidence. Our students then learnt about all thing’s mindsets. Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset? Brennan spoke to our students about how to cultivate a growth mindset. He equipped our students with some practical tools to develop a growth mindset in their daily lives. One tool was effective enquiry, which involves asking thought-provoking questions that get to the core of what you want to know. Learning this rather simple skill can help one gain a much more rounded view of what they’re trying to gain knowledge around. 

Concluding the session, our students went onto think about their Cognitive Confidence. We had some fantastic ideas, such as a ‘Museum of Failure’. Sounds counterproductive, but in fact, knowing and understanding your failures can push you to succeed and progress. We had students also mention they are going to try and take elements from a growth mindset and incorporate it into their current mindsets. 

Our students had a great time at this Success Studio. A very big thank you to Brennan for facilitating! 

Success Studios take place every Monday & Thursday evening throughout the Spring Term. To find out more, please contact your Henley Careers team: henleycareers@henley.ac.uk.

By Sheldon Allen 

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